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The right Training Method

A)   SELECTING THE RIGHT METHOD

All the resources available must be used to make your instruction real and vital for your trainees. The number and types of training methods you use during any presentation depend on many factors, and you must therefore have answers to the following questions before you decide how you will present your material.

  • What is the ability and level of knowledge of the group?
  • How many trainees are in the group and why are they there?
  • How much time do you have to prepare your material?
  • Can you cover your topic fully in the time available?
  • What aids do you require?
  • Do you have the experience to use these aids with confidence?
  • Are you aware of the limitations of aids?
  • Your method of presentation will depend on the answers to these questions.

B.1.) LECTURE/TRAINING METHOD

Use

  • When the group is large – say 30 or more
  • When knowledge or understanding is to be impacted by an expert
  • When a body of factual information has to be communicated in a short time
  • When information is not readily available to group members

 

Delivery

Essentials of good delivery:

  • Words must all be clear
  • Words must be spoken at a suitable pace
  • Pauses should occur at logical places
  • Variety should be used: emphasizing important points in a deliberate manner, connecting parts and using illustrations in a conversational way

Preparation and lecture notes

Preparation is important. The lecturer’s notes need to be designed to facilitate efficient delivery. Distinction is needed between learning outcomes and training notes (showing method and matter).

Notes may be too brief. The training may then improvise, and he or she may be vague or may forget important elements. On the other hand, notes may be too extensive. The training will then read them, and this is undesirable.

Given an outline of the material, prepare the notes by asking these questions:

  • What is it safe to assume that the listeners know?
  • What are they likely to find difficult?
  • Hence, what will require special care or illustration?
  • What will the illustrations (in detail) be? Can they be misunderstood or misinterpreted?
  • What demonstrations will be appropriate? Will everyone see clearly? (Demonstrations are used to illustrate really important points. The more important the point, the more spectacular the demonstration should be.)
  • What new terms will be introduced? What unusual names? Mark these in the notes. They will need to be written on a blackboard, whiteboard, chart or overhead transparency.
  • What precisely should everyone know at the end of the training? (This is really a re-examination of the outline and a restatement of the important points.)

Structure

Introduction:

  • Statement of aims
  • Relation of this learning section to those that came before and are to follow
  • Establishment of goal (which gives purpose and direction) by linking aims with participant needs
  • Outline of thoughts that are to be developed

Body of lecture:

  • Step-by-step building up of subject matter
  • Logical development
  • A few well-developed steps, strongly made (more effective than many steps)
  • Appropriate use of aids and questions to stimulate student interest and activity
  • Appropriately spaced summaries of material covered

Conclusion:

  • Summary of learning material
  • Restatement of the relationship of this lecture to others in the series
  • Reference to additional material that should be read or seen
  • Setting of any assignments

Disadvantages

  • Training may bombards students with considerable information (saturation may occur)
  • Participants sit passively without interaction

 

B.2.) THE TRAINING/DISCUSSION

Use

  • When the group is small – say 20 or less
  • When the members know one another well enough to risk making errors
  • When the material is of a kind that can be assimilated readily, at least in part, or when there is some prior knowledge of it

Discussion

The most useful starting point for the discussion is the question. Some uses of questions:

  • At beginning of learning to find out what trainees already know and to discover opinions
  • During lecture: to find out whether the participants understand and are following the lecture
  • End of learning: to recapitulate and test the participants’ knowledge and understanding

Desirable features of questions:

  • They should be clear
  • They should be brief
  • They should lead to some constructive statement rather than to a nod or a grunt
  • They should stimulate thinking, rather than suggest the answer

 

Pitfalls

  • Repeating the answer (Do not repeat. Move on.)
  • Holding a dialogue with a single answerer (Bring in the group, e.g. “Would anyone like to add to that?”)
  • Trampling the incorrect answerer
  • Asking too many questions (Adults do not like to be cross-examined.)
  • Letting the discussion take too long (Guide it carefully. Remember the objective of your discussion.)

Structure

  • Introduction
  • Body of learning
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion

B.3) THE SKILL LESSON

Aims

  • To teach correct and safe job methods
  • To develop confidence in job performance
  • To achieve accuracy and speed
  • To encourage conscientious effort

Structure

  • Development (body of skill lesson)
  • Demonstration by trainer (complete)
  • Demonstration and trainee practice of each stage, in sequence
  • Practice of demonstrated job skill Conclusion

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